<Orchestral?><OC> Artessa Trap's Themes

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<Orchestral?><OC> Artessa Trap's Themes

Postby Armystuntman » 27 Mar 2014 13:49

I've made two very different themes, for my Tumblr OC character Art Trap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1r5KO7gpqI
<Orchestral> Trapped Within Thyself
Here's a theme based on the foreboding eerieness of Art Trap's character. With a recurring music box jingle and quirky orchestra, I've tried my best to set an unsettling crazy theme for Art Trap's strange personality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENHbL4s_qw
<???> A Dream within Reality (Or just "Art Trap's Candyland")
As in the tumblr, she ends up in a Candyland (makes sense in context), so I made a theme as a remix of the first one above, into a more happy cute style. I didn't change the recurring music box jingle however, I really like that foreboding jingle hidden inside the song. (Very slightly.)

I don't really know why I'm posting these little tracks, but to heck with it, it's good to get criticism on these silly spurts of inspiration.
Last edited by Armystuntman on 07 Jun 2017 09:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: <Orchestral?><OC pony themes> Art Trap's Themes

Postby Callenby » 03 Apr 2014 13:05

My internet connection is being a jerk, so here are my quick thoughts.

Are these two characters related or connected in anyway? If not, then it's probably not a good idea to have their themes so similar.

Personally, I felt that the second theme wasn't that much happier than the first, really. It had quite a similar timbre and seemed as though it was also meant to be slightly unsettling.

The second theme was also a tad repetitive for my taste. If a character theme is going to be two minutes long then you'll want to give it more variation.

It's a nice start, though!
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Re: <Orchestral?><OC pony themes> Art Trap's Themes

Postby Armystuntman » 03 Apr 2014 13:23

Callenby wrote:My internet connection is being a jerk, so here are my quick thoughts.

Are these two characters related or connected in anyway? If not, then it's probably not a good idea to have their themes so similar.


Oh, what? Oh, nonono, they're two themes on the same fan-character.

Callenby wrote:Personally, I felt that the second theme wasn't that much happier than the first, really. It had quite a similar timbre and seemed as though it was also meant to be slightly unsettling.


I wanted it to be "Deceivingly happy." It's pretty much an abstract concept, but in a nutshell the pony, Art Trap, experiences a fake ever-happy reality, while the actual reality that she forgets about is much much worse, and is always lingering around the corner.

Callenby wrote:The second theme was also a tad repetitive for my taste. If a character theme is going to be two minutes long then you'll want to give it more variation.


That's true, in fact I feel a bit bad for just making the same theme play again. I ran out of ideas, and should have postponed it until I got more fitting melodies instead of playing everything again and changing it slightly. I'll try to avoid repetition in future. Thank you for telling me that.

Callenby wrote:It's a nice start, though!


I have a long way to go.
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Re: <Orchestral?><OC pony themes> Art Trap's Themes

Postby Callenby » 03 Apr 2014 23:57

Armystuntman wrote:Oh, what? Oh, nonono, they're two themes on the same fan-character.

Oops, I wasn't looking closely. Sorry.

Armystuntman wrote:I wanted it to be "Deceivingly happy." It's pretty much an abstract concept, but in a nutshell the pony, Art Trap, experiences a fake ever-happy reality, while the actual reality that she forgets about is much much worse, and is always lingering around the corner.

Well, it may just be me, but I didn't get that specific sense. I'd recommend experimenting with that more.

Armystuntman wrote:I have a long way to go.

We all do. Just hang in there.

Orchestral music is challenging; there's a reason why more people don't make it. I don't exactly recall all the stuff you've post before, but I'm pretty sure you've done quite a bit of experimenting already, and you're always working on new material (one thing I think not enough people appreciate is that working consistently is one of the best things you can do to learn). So don't worry. You're on the right track.
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Re: <Orchestral?><OC pony themes> Art Trap's Themes

Postby Armystuntman » 07 Jun 2017 09:29

thanks for your critique
i've made two songs based on the character's melody since then (she's just your average crazy pony i guess)
a normal theme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlPhvmlCytI

a fighting theme?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1DVQ5T_FjQ

and an innocent sleeping theme..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXvNzadXbts

sorry for necropost but it's an actual update...
Last edited by Armystuntman on 03 Aug 2017 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: <Orchestral?><OC> Artessa Trap's Themes

Postby HazelelPoni » 10 Jul 2017 13:58

I see your necropost! :wink: I'm not as educated on orchestral performance or composition as I am in production and mixing, so hopefully my feedback in limited areas will have some value to you.

The normal theme has a great sense of spatial depth. There are instruments in the back and instruments in the front, so it held my attention well without overwhelming my focus. All of the instruments give a good sense of "spooky"; the one thing I was hoping to hear by the end was some woodblock percussion, but that's probably a matter of stylistic taste.
0:48 The piano performance felt unexpressive when it was sharing the mix with only two other instruments. This could have been caused by the instrument you used; if the part was sequenced, then working on the note velocities to make the part subtly more attention-grabby might do the trick.
0:55 The flute was timid, but it had a really important part that I think could use more emphasis.
1:11 There wasn't much signaling the approaching cadence. Giving the dominant chord a more prominent root note in a bass register or leading to that chord with a predominant function would probably solve the problem.

The fight theme is really cool; it takes a special skill to make orchestral instruments groove like they do in game music!
0:25 and 1:36 The splashes are distracting me from the other instruments; it's like they're cluttering up the soundscape. Maybe consolidating that energy into a rhythmic pattern that repeats every bar or two, instead of a pattern that repeats every two beats would increase the contrast and create more excitement.
I love the string sliding thing that happens shortly after 0:33; it gives a lot of character to the song.The toms/bongos at 1:46 are an exciting accent, too.
1:11 There are only three instruments playing, but all three are playing as if they're supporting something else. It would be great if all three could be slightly more dynamic throughout the phrase, or if one of them could scream "focus on me".

I think there was a problem with your link to the sleeping theme. Anyway, I hope all this helps! I'm trying to become more active in the brony music community to improve my own musical skills and find collaboration partners, so it's really a pleasure talking music. ^~^
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